Je suis Miss Pirisi de Sydney.
I’m Miss Pirisi, an ex-Sydney girl, an Australian expatriate living in Paris (since 2009) and a former student of the Intensive Professional Program in French Pastry in 2013 of the school of gastronomy, FERRANDI in Paris. I signed up to jam pack 660 hours of intensive lessons over 5 months to learn haute couture de la patisserie.
Since the program
I’ve had the opportunity to intern in the following kitchens: Le Jules Verne Alain Ducasse in the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel), Franck Daubos pâtissier-chocolatier, Michalak Masterclass, La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac and Trianon Palace in Versailles, and finally at a local artisan, Chez Olivier Le Boulanger.
In July 2015, I graduated from another pastry program, the CAP reconversion diplome en patisserie. A CAP is in fact the official diploma recognised in France and is abbreviated for, Le Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle (CAP). The school I attended was TECOMAH (recently bought by FERRANDI), located in the leafy suburb of Joey-en-Josas in Versailles. The CAP program works in a rotation with the school and internship throughout the year.
At Chez Oliviers because it’s a petit artisanal patisserie-boulangerie I was able to practice a lot and hone basic skills which are really the foundation of French pastry (de la patisserie) required for the CAP exams: pate a choux, viennoiserie, tarts and entremets I sat for and passed my exams which was all in French. I am happy to say I am now officially a French patissiere. “Officially” because it’s just a piece of paper afterall. It will be the next undefined years of solid dedication to this wondefully beautiful and challenging trade that will determine what kind of patissiere I will be. I must proove myself.
I’m bubbling with excitment because in 2015 I registered “the brand”, MadCharlotte with INPI (L’Institut national de la propriété industrielle). The next step was to register her as a business/organisation and me as an auto-entrepreneur with the Chambre des Métiers. This was done on the 1st of March 2016, 250 euros plus a full day course on business at the Chambres de Metiers in Versailles and some administrative paperwork and MadCharlotte is mine. But wait! We, and I mean MadCharlotte and I, are still very much at the beginnig. Meaning MadCharlotte is in conception stage. A looooooot of recipe testing. MC and I are aware the patisserie market at the moment in France is highly saturated, the competition is fierce baby! It’s frightening, yes!!! Sleepless nights, many!!! Excitement level, RED HOT. The heart wants what it wants, so there’s no argueing with that. We know MadCharlotte is extra special, nothing but the best for MC which means nothing less but the best and ultimate luxury for her clients. “Everyone deserves a little luxury”, MadCharlotte.
When undertaking a French pastry program in Paris you will more than likely use the spare time you have discovering Paris by way of tasting pâtisseries of well known “maisons” such as, Lenôtre, Pierre Hermé, Café Pouchkine, Dimanche a Paris, Fauchon, Angelinas, Dalloyeau, Arnaud Larher, Carette, Jacques Genin, Laduree, La Patisserie des Reves, Carette, and many more.
Also, there are the 5 start Palace Hotels where you’ll find some of Frances top pastry chefs, (such as Cedric Grolet of Le Meurice) without a commitment to dining in the gastronomic restaurant you can simply take high-tea at the Palace Hotel: Bristol, Le Meurice, Shangri-la, Le Peninsula, Four Season George V, Plaza Athenee, Trianon Palace in Versailles. If you are thinking about applying to a pastry program in France these are some places available for internship, so it’s something to think about. Do you want to work in a boutique, restaurant or hotel?
When I was making enquires regarding pastry courses in France, and trying to understand the difference between a course for internationals and the one designed for French, le CAP, and which one would suit me best for my goals living in France, there was little information and little help. So here it is, a blog that I hope can help you make make more informed decisions about your possible new life in France and a career in French pastry.
Share your questions with me, your hopes, dreams and fears because perhaps there is something in common we can share and in turn it may help you navigate the path to your culinary future. For more frequent updates you can visit my Facebook pages: Miss Pirisi de Sydney- Pâtissière and MadCharlotte. Also, must not forget le fabulous website of MC: http://www.madcharlotte.fr
Last updated 30 March 2016 (Versailles, France).